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Peter B. Higgins, III. (1947-2010)

Feb 04, 2022

Peter B. Higgins III, was born on August 3, 1947 to Peter B. Higgins Jr. and Eilish B. Toner. He attended Holy Cross Elementary School, Essex Catholic High School and Seton Hall University.


He graduated from Seton Hall with a BS in Business. While attending The Hall he was a member of the US Army ROTC and the Nationally Ranked Pershing Rifles Drill Team, Company K8. Following college he proudly served his country during the Vietnam War in the First Cavalry and was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty on June 5, 1975. While serving in the Army he achieved the rank of Major. Among his many commendations was the Bronze Star which was received for Valor resulting from an act of combat heroism.


Upon his return to the United States, he married the former E. Doreen Coolican and devoted his life to her for the next 38 years. In the coming years they welcomed two children, Brian P. and Kevin G. into their family.


In 1975, Peter began his long time service to the Town of Harrison with his election to the Town Council where he served the Fourth Ward for the next 23 years. During that time he was the Chairperson of several committees, most notably the Fire Department and Police Department Committees. Peter served as Council President for both Mayors Frank E. Rodgers and Raymond J. McDonough.


He was a driving force and contributor to many projects in support of the residents of Harrison including the I-280 Extension Project, the construction of the Harrison Senior Citizens Center, The Harrison Community Center and the billion dollar Harrison Redevelopment Project.


In addition to his duties in Harrison Peter was employed as the Secretary to the Board and Business Administrator for the Harrison Board of Education from 1978 until his retirement. While in this capacity he oversaw the financial well being of the Harrison School District as well as the construction of the Lincoln School addition and construction of the new Harrison High School (now the Middle School on Harrison Avenue, North Fifth Street and Hamilton Street).


During this time Peter was also very active throughout the State of New Jersey with his involvement in the School Business Officials Association on which he served as President. In early 2000 he was appointed as the Chairperson of the Harrison Redevelopment Authority and helped negotiate the plans for the current redevelopment of the western end of Harrison. The centerpiece of this project was the construction of the Red Bull Arena.  The street in front of the Red Bulls Stadium was named in his honor.


Along with his duties in Harrison, Peter also served as a Commissioner on the Hudson County Improvement Authority. Peter was a member of the Lions Club, VFW and American Legion. For the last 28 years he was a volunteer for Camp Fatima of New Jersey. The role that meant the most to him over the past 10 years was being a loving grandfather to his three grandsons Zack, Timmy and Sean. He spent countless hours helping them with school projects and their numerous athletic endeavors. He could often be seen on the Boardwalk in Belmar, NJ with his grandsons and their favorite, Dunkin Donuts. Peter is predeceased by his father Peter B Higgins Jr. His spirit will live on in those who survive him, his Mother Eilish Higgins (nee Toner), His Wife E. Doreen Higgins (nee Coolican), his son Brian and his wife Karen (nee Garfinkel) of Macungie, PA , his son Kevin of Lake Como, NJ, his grandsons Zack, Timmy and Sean, his brother Jack, sister Beth, brother Michael and his wife MaryJean, nephew Jack and niece Kate along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Source: / Jersey Journal Newspapers 2010